Mount Fuji, one of the most beautiful mountains in the world, is Japan’s most popular tourist destination. It is admired for its beauty and symmetry, and generations of artists have painted and photographed it. Spring is perhaps the most beautiful season to visit Fuji. Fuji is named Konohana-Sakuahime, which means “causing the blossom to brightly bloom,” because the snow-covered mountain is framed by pink cherry blossoms.
1. The Takayama City
Takayama is a castle town in Gifu Prefecture’s mountains, brimming with traditional charm and bustling streets just waiting to be discovered. Renowned for its morning markets, sake, snow, incredible spring and autumn festivals, and proximity to onsen towns and the famous Shirakawago village, you may be wondering why you haven’t visited yet.
2. Kiso Valley
The Kiso Valley, which is surrounded by these nearly three-thousand-meter peaks, is known for its steep slopes and dense forest-covered gorges. The emerald greenery and crystal-clear waters of the canopies are a welcome sight, especially during the hot summers. Passing through Kiso was one of the main ways to travel between Kyoto and Edo during the Edo Period. The Nakasendo route linked the Sanjo Ohashi bridge in Kyoto to the Nihonbashi bridge in Edo. There were 69 post towns along the way, some of which had been meticulously preserved. Visitors can experience the Japanese countryside in the same way that merchants, travellers, and samurai did hundreds of years ago.
3. Matsumoto Castle
The magnificent Matsumoto Castle is steeped in history and is one of Japan’s last 12 original castles. The classic view of red bridges crossing moats is enhanced at night by the castle glowing in the moonlight. The castle’s iconic scenery makes it worthwhile to visit at any time of year, but if you can catch the cherry blossoms in spring, do so! One of the best places in central Japan to experience a Japanese castle is the approaching black structure.
4.Suntory Hakushu Distillery
The Suntory Hakushu Distillery, also known as the Suntory Hakushu Joryusho, is located in the mountains on the western side of Hokuto City in Yamanashi Prefecture. The distillery, which was founded in 1973 and expanded in 1995, is responsible for the production of Suntory’s Hakushu brand of single-malt whisky.
5. Hakone Ropeway
The Hakone Ropeway is part of the Hakone Round Course, a popular way to see Hakone. It connects Sounzan Station (at the end of the Hakone Tozan Cablecar) to Togendai Station (on the shores of Lake Ashinoko), stopping at Owakudani and Ubako stations along the way. The ropeway is completely covered by the Hakone Free Pass. The ropeway’s gondolas leave every minute and seat about ten people. The entire length of the ropeway takes about 30 minutes to travel. If visibility allows, passengers can see the active, sulfuric hot spring sources of the Owakudani Valley between Sounzan and Owakudani, as well as Lake Ashinoko and Mount Fuji between Owakudani and Togendai.
6.Hakone Tozan Railway
A ride on Hakone Tozan Densha, Japan’s oldest mountain railway, is a treat for more than just railway enthusiasts. The small trains wind their way through a narrow, densely forested valley, crossing numerous bridges and tunnels, stopping at small stations along the way, and changing directions three times. There are two sections to the Hakone Tozan Line. The lower section from Odawara to Hakone-Yumoto is unremarkable and is only used by Odakyu trains from central Tokyo. The upper section, which is served by small mountain trains from Hakone-Yumoto to Gora, is far more spectacular. Many visitors take the Gora cablecar to Lake Ashinoko.
7.Ashinoko (Ashi Lake)
Lake Ashinoko formed in the caldera of Mount Hakone after the volcano’s last eruption 3000 years ago. Today, the lake with Mount Fuji in the background is Hakone’s symbol. The lake’s shores are mostly undeveloped, with the exception of a couple of lakeside resort hotels in the east and north. Moto-Hakone (a few steps south of the sightseeing boat pier), the Hakone Detached Palace Garden, and the sightseeing boats that cruise the lake provide the best views of the lake and Mount Fuji.
Owakudani is the area surrounding a crater formed 3000 years ago during Mount Hakone’s last eruption. A large portion of the region is now an active volcanic zone with sulphurous fumes, hot springs, and hot rivers. On clear days, Owakudani also provides breathtaking views of Mount Fuji. Sulfur-blackened eggs cooked in Owakudani’s hot spring pools are sold in local shops, and eating one is said to add seven years to one’s life. From the ropeway station, a short walking trail leads into the volcanic zone, where there are several steam vents and bubbling pools. The walk takes about 30 minutes in total. The trail requires reservations in advance and costs 500 yen to enter.
9. Hakone Open-Air Museum
The Hakone Open-Air Museum is a nature-inspired outdoor sculpture gallery. It is located in the Hakone mountains and spans 70,000 square meters with stunning views of the surrounding mountains. This art museum, which opened in 1969, was Japan’s first outdoor gallery. The museum is the ideal location for a leisurely stroll through nature while appreciating great art. Needless to say, it’s a popular location for stunning Instagram photos.
10.Hakone's Hot Springs
Hakone has long been one of Japan’s most popular hot spring resorts. Over a dozen springs now supply hot spring water to the region’s numerous bath houses and ryokan. Yumoto, near Odawara at the Hakone area’s entrance, is the most famous hot spring in Hakone, with a particularly long history, high quality water, and a plethora of baths and inns. Many more hot spring facilities can be found in Hakone’s hills and valleys, as well as along Lake Ashi’s shores. Visitors can relax in one of the public bath houses or ryokans by taking a hot spring bath. Many ryokan welcome both day visitors and overnight guests to their baths.
11.Fujiyoshida Sengen Shrine
Over a thousand Fuji Sengen shrines in Japan are dedicated to Princess Konohanasakuya, the Shinto deity associated with Mount Fuji. Fujiyoshida Sengen Shrine, formally known as Kitaguchi Hong Fuji Sengen Ji, North Entrance Fuji Sengen Shrine, is the main Sengen Shrine on the mountain’s north side. Fujisan Hongu Sengen Taisha, located on the opposite side of the mountain in Fujinomiya, is the main shrine. A long approach lined with stone lanterns and shaded by tall cedar trees separates Fujiyoshida Sengen Shrine from the road. A 1615 main hall, a dancing stage, and a few auxiliary buildings are among the shrine’s red-painted structures.
12. Fuji-Q Highland Amusement Park
Fuji-Q Highland in Japan resurrects those memories. This theme park, located at the foot of Mount Fuji, is one of the best and most well-known in Japan. Fuji-Q, which first opened its doors in the late 1960s, now houses a number of major roller coasters for thrill seekers. The best view of Mount Fuji in the world is from Fujiyama. As you hurtle down a 20-story drop at nearly 80 mph with your eyes clenched shut, that view fades quickly.
13. Kubota Itchiku Art Museum
Kubota Itchiku was the artist who revived the long-lost art of Tsujigahana silk dyeing, which was used to embellish elaborate kimonos during the Muromachi Period. After being inspired by a fragment of Tsujigahana textile displayed at the Tokyo National Museum in his early twenties, he devoted the rest of his life to recreating and mastering the labor-intensive silk dyeing technique. A fascinating Kubota Itchiku museum can be found in the wooded hills along Lake Kawaguchiko’s northern coast. On display are several of the artist’s kimono creations depicting themes of nature, the cosmos, and the seasons. Parts of his unfinished masterpiece “Symphony of Light,” which consists of 80 kimono arranged to form a picture of Mount Fuji, are also on display.
14. Fuji Five Lakes
Lake Kawaguchiko, Lake Yamanakako, Lake Saiko, Lake Shojiko, and Lake Motosuko are located at the northern base of Mount Fuji. The five lakes were formed hundreds of years ago by lava flows that dammed rivers during Mount Fuji’s multiple eruptions. Surprisingly, three of the lakes, Saiko, Shojiko, and Motosuko, are still connected by underground waterways, allowing them to maintain the same surface level of 900 metres above sea level.
15. Climb Mountain Fuji
You’ve probably considered climbing Mt. Fuji if you live in Japan or plan to visit Japan. Mt. Fuji is Japan’s tallest mountain (3,776m). Because of its nearly symmetrical shape and snow-capped summit in winter, it is one of the most iconic mountains in the world. During the official climbing season, Mt. Fuji attracts thousands of mountain climbers from all over the world (early July to early September).